Feb 14 | Matt Kenseth Wins Sprint Unlimited At Daytona

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Enfinger Takes Wins ARCA Racing Series Season-Opener For Second-Straight Year

Kenseth Wins

Two-time DAYTONA 500 champion is back in Gatorade Victory Lane. After a winless 2014 season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Kenseth captured the 75-lap non-points Sprint Unlimited on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. 

“It was a great start for the week [leading up to the Feb. 22 DAYTONA 500],” Kenseth said. “Hopefully we can keep up the momentum for the rest of the week.” 

The Sprint Unlimited rolled off with 25 drivers, a high-profile mix of 2014 pole winners, former Sprint Unlimited winners and DAYTONA 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2014, Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers from 2014, plus several others who qualified based on final 2014 series championship standings. Quite different from the event’s 1979 debut, which featured nine drivers – 1978 pole winners only – racing for 20 laps. That one lasted 15 minutes and was won by Buddy Baker who, earlier that afternoon, had captured the pole for the DAYTONA 500. 

After a Lap 23 crash, however, 18 cars remained in contention in this 37th running of the event. The 14-car accident started when Greg Biffle’s Ford hit former DAYTONA 500 champion Jamie McMurray’s Chevrolet from behind, turning it sideways with the rear wheels briefly off the ground – directly into the path of the field. The race was red-flagged due to the clean-up required; that lasted 14 minutes, 42 seconds. When the race was restarted on Lap 30, two-time DAYTONA 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr., seeking a third Sprint Unlimited victory, was the leader. 

A late dust-up took several more cars out of the mix, setting the stage for a four-lap dash to the finish. Kenseth, in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, outdueled the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet of Martin Truex on the final lap, with the help of some cagy blocking moves. Kenseth’s margin of victory: 0.219 seconds. Carl Edwards, in his debut run as Kenseth’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, finished third in the No. 19 Arris Toyota. 

The 75-lap/187.5-mile race was divided into 25- and 50-lap segments. The first segment ended under caution after 2012 series champion Brad Keselowski crashed in the tri-oval, ruining his night.             

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Grant Enfinger won the Lucas Oil 200 Presented By AutoZone – the season-opening race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards – for the second straight year prior to the Sprint Unlimited, driving the No. 23 Alamo Rent A Car Chevrolet. Enfinger edged Daniel Suarez’s No. 15 Arris Toyota by a mere 0.140 seconds. It was a career milestone for Suarez, a 23-year-old driver from Monterrey, Mexico who is part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity initiative. Suarez is competing full-time this season for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. 

“This is an incredible feeling,” Enfinger said. “It was definitely a nail-biter from my seat.” 

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. 

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Feb 13 | ARCA’s Thompson Becomes Oldest Pole Winner in DIS History

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Kurt Busch Tops 200 mph in Sprint Unlimited Practice; Menard Gets Pole Via Random Draw

Day 1 ARCA

What’s in a number?

For ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards veteran driver Mark Thompson, a history-making pole position. 

The number in question – 63 – is Thompson’s age, which made him the oldest pole winner in a major race at Daytona International Speedway, following Friday’s qualifying for the Lucas Oil 200 presented by AutoZone, set for today at DIS. Thompson won his first ARCA pole award in 17 years, with a fast lap of 187.336 mph during group qualifying in the 2.5-mile tri-oval.  

“Winning the pole at Daytona is a big deal,” said Thompson, driver of the No. 11 Phoenix Air-Ken Schrader Racing Toyota. “It’s special. There’s probably not another place I’d rather win the pole than here.” 

Thompson won three previous Menards Pole Awards in ARCA competition, all at Michigan International Speedway – two in 1996 and one in 1997.

Saturday’s race will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 4 p.m.

 

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Starting position for Saturday night’s (8:15 p.m. ET; FOX) Sprint Unlimited – the first 2015 event for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams – was determined by a random draw Friday by race fans and team’s respective crew chiefs. Paul Menard got the pole and will lead the 25-car field to the green flag in the No. 27 Peak/Menards Chevrolet. The Sprint Unlimited includes 2014 pole winners, former Sprint Unlimited winners and DAYTONA 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2014, and Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers from 2014.           

Friday night, two Sprint Unlimited practice sessions were held. The 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Kurt Busch, led the first session (200.749 mph); four-time series champion Jeff Gordon, starting his final season, led the second session (196.764). 

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. 

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Feb 13 | Phillip Phillips to Sing National Anthem for 57th Annual DAYTONA 500

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“We’re excited to have Phillip Phillips be a part of the pre-race ceremonies and sing the National Anthem prior to the 57th annual DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said.

Phillips

Singer/songwriter Phillip Phillips, will sing the National Anthem prior to the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX.  “The Great American Race” will also broadcast live on FOX Deportes, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio with additional coverage on NASCAR.com.

“We’re excited to have Phillip Phillips be a part of the pre-race ceremonies and sing the National Anthem prior to the 57th annual DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Phillip is a talented singer, guitarist and songwriter and we are looking forward to his rendition of the National Anthem in front of thousands of race fans and millions more watching on FOX.”

Platinum recording artist Phillips released his sophomore album Behind The Light last May. The album includes all songs that were either written or co-written by Phillips including lead single “Raging Fire” which debuted in the Billboard Hot 100.  Behind The Light is the follow-up to 2012’s The World from the Side of the Moon, a platinum plus-selling album that debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and featured the 5x platinum smash hit “Home.” Throughout the last year, the 24-year-old Georgia native has toured the U.S. and the world, joining Matchbox Twenty and John Mayer on tour and sharing a stage with Bruce Springsteen at the 2013 Rock in Rio festival.  The American Idol season 11 winner spent the summer on a co-headline tour with O.A.R. before setting out on a national headline tour this past fall. 

To learn more about Phillip Phillips, visit www.phillipphillpps.com and follow him on Twitter (@phillips).

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Feb 13 | Daytona Rewards Stations to Offer Special Prizes For Sprint Unlimited, DAYTONA 500

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Daytona Rewards Stations to Offer Special Prizes For Sprint Unlimited, DAYTONA 500

DAYTONA Rewards Station

During Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited and the 57th annual DAYTONA 500, race fans visiting the “World Center of Racing” will be able to win numerous special prizes through the Daytona Rewards Stations. 

The Daytona Rewards Stations will be located inside the Sprint FANZONE as well as the Midway located outside Turn 4. Fan can pre-register now at http://www.disrewards.com/  or register onsite at either Daytona Rewards Station.  

Among the prizes that will be available include:

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage tours
  • Photo with the Sprint Unlimited champion
  • Ride in the Grand Marshal for the Sprint Unlimited
  • Present the Sprint Unlimited champion’s trophy in Gatorade Victory Lane
  • Ride along for driver’s introductions for the Sprint Unlimited
  • Access to the driver’s meeting
  • Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola tickets
  • Sprint FANZONE passes
  • Sunglasses, koozies and much more

 

When a race fans arrives at either Daytona Rewards Station, they will meet a brand ambassador for a credential, which will be scanned and display an instant prizing message. Fans can scan their credential at both Daytona Rewards Stations for a chance to win a prize. 

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. 

Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Feb 09 | Actor Vince Vaughn Named Grand Marshal for 57th Annual DAYTONA 500

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Star of 20th Century Fox’s Upcoming ‘Unfinished Business’ to Deliver Starting Command for the DAYTONA 500

Vince Vaughn

Vince Vaughn, the star of 20th Century Fox’s and New Regency’s upcoming comedy “Unfinished Business,” in theaters everywhere March 6, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX from Daytona International Speedway. “The Great American Race” will also broadcast live on FOX Deportes, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio with additional coverage on NASCAR.com.

As Grand Marshal, Vaughn will announce the famous four words in motorsports, “Drivers, start your engines.”  Along with the starting command, Vaughn will participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race.

“We are thrilled to welcome Vince Vaughn as Grand Marshal for the DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said.  “We look forward to hearing Vince Vaughn’s command as we kick off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in front of hundreds of thousands of fans and millions more watching on FOX.”

“Last year was an exciting one for NASCAR and I can’t wait to help kick off the 2015 season as the DAYTONA 500 Grand Marshal,” Vaughn said. “The DAYTONA 500 is one of the biggest events in all of sports and I feel honored to be able to be a part of it in it in such a major way.”

In “Unfinished Business,” a hard-working small business owner (portrayed by Vaughn) and his two associates (Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco) travel to Europe to close the most important deal of their lives.  But what began as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every imaginable – and unimaginable – way, including unplanned stops at a massive sex fetish event and a global economic summit.  The film is directed by Ken Scott, written by Steven Conrad, and produced by Arnon Milchan, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, and Anthony Katagas.   

For more information on “Unfinished Business,” visit www.UnfinishedBusinesstheMovie.com or check out the movie through its social media channels on Facebook, Twitter #UnfinishedBusiness, YouTube and Vine.

Vaughn has starred in several hit comedies including “The Wedding Crashers,” “The Break-Up” and “Couples Retreat.”

Vaughn joins a long list of Hollywood actors who have previously served as DAYTONA 500 Grand Marshals including James Franco, Chris Evans, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, and Matthew McConaughey.

Tickets for the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 and all Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 events are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtag #DAYTONA500 and #SPEEDWEEKS. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Feb 06 | DAYTONA Rising February Project Update: Daytona International Speedway Prepares To Preview New Amenities

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“We look forward to providing fans with an opportunity to see what’s ahead,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “The new amenities will elevate the overall experience and help to redefine motorsports events.”

DAYTONA Rising

Following a successful 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway is now finalizing its race-ready preparations for Budweiser Speedweeks 2015 and the 57th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 22. Fans will have an opportunity to preview some of the new amenities, including 40,000 new seats, two of the five injectors/entrances, new concessions, several of the neighborhoods or social areas and the new vertical transportation. 

“We look forward to providing fans with an opportunity to see what’s ahead,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “The new amenities will elevate the overall experience and help to redefine motorsports events.” 

Below is a recap of key race-ready activities since the last update in January:

  • Installed temporary trailers for ushers and staff
  • Set up more than 4,000 feet of construction fencing
  • Built temporary Americrown kitchens
  • Installed temporary lighting 

About DAYTONA Rising

DAYTONA Rising is a $400 million reimagining of an American icon – Daytona International Speedway. Five expanded and redesigned entrances, or “injectors,” will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or “neighborhoods,” along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests. DAYTONA Rising: Reimagining an American Icon, expected to create 6,300 jobs, $300 million in labor income and over $80 million in tax revenue, will be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and DAYTONA 500. Construction of DAYTONA Rising was recently cited as a primary source of expected growth in the Deltona, Fla., MSA as part of ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey. 

Toyota and Florida Hospital are Founding Partners of DAYTONA Rising, joining the Speedway to help provide the very best experience for fans through more than 40,000 total square feet of engagement areas, branding rights for two of the injectors/entrances and two of the new neighborhoods.  

Barton Malow is serving as the design-builder for the project. In addition to DAYTONA Rising, Barton Malow has renovated the University of Michigan “Big House” and the Rose Bowl. 

ROSSETTI, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm for the past 40 years, which headed the design for Ford Field NFL Stadium, University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena and five Major League Soccer Stadiums, is leading the master planning of the DAYTONA Rising site. 

Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com and connecting with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Also, fans can see the construction project up close by taking one of the daily tours available at the Speedway on non-event days throughout the year. Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/tours or the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building for more information. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.  

About Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway is the home of "The Great American Race" - the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup event garners most of the attention - as well as the largest audience in motorsports - the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe, thus earning it the title of "World Center of Racing." In addition to eight major weekends of racing activity, rarely a week goes by that the Speedway grounds are not used for events that include civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.

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